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01-06-07, 09:12 AM
Officer shot in Cedar City
By RYAN DIONNE
CEDAR CITY - For the first time in more than three decades, a Cedar City police officer was shot Friday night after he tried to help a man free his vehicle from the snow.
Jason Thomas, a K-9 officer, was shot twice with a shotgun near 1325 North and 600 West before the suspect allegedly stole a nearby vehicle and fled the scene.
Thomas was wearing a bulletproof vest. The officer was transported to Valley View Medical Center for treatment.
"It could've been a bad situation," said Thomas' dad, Steve Thomas.
After allegedly shooting Jason Thomas, the suspect, Bryan Featherhat, allegedly stole a Honda Passport, which was found a couple of hours later on Midvalley Road near Lund Highway, police said.
While officers hadn't found Featherhat by 10:30 p.m. Friday, Iron County Sheriff's deputies along with other law enforcement officers were following footsteps that led away from the SUV.
Despite the uncertainties that followed the shooting, Thomas was conscious and seemingly more upset that he was shot than he was hurt, his sister Kim Riddle said.
"He was more concerned about Gino (his K-9) getting hurt," Steve Thomas said.
While Gino could have saved Thomas' life, the officer didn't let the dog out of the police vehicle to protect it.
Now that Thomas looks like he'll be OK, Steve Thomas said he's sympathetic to Featherhat's family.
"They're the ones that go through it now," he said. "I feel for the family."
01-06-07, 09:17 AM
Officer shot while investigating possible DUI case
By Mark Havnes
The Salt Lake Tribune
Article Last Updated: 01/06/2007 01:48:57 AM MST
CEDAR CITY - A police officer was wounded when he was shot twice with a shotgun Friday night; his shooter escaped in a hijacked car.
About 7 p.m., Cedar City officer Jason Thomas made an emergency call to dispatchers, screaming: I've been shot. I've been shot.
Lt. Keith Millett said Thomas had stopped at 600 West on 1325 North, where a good Samaritan was using his vehicle to try to pull a pickup truck back onto the snowpacked road from where it had slid off.
While talking to the people at the scene, Thomas began to suspect that the driver of the truck had been drinking.
Thomas took the man's driver license and was walking toward his police unit when the driver of the truck approached the officer, carrying what Thomas thought was an umbrella. In reality, the man had retrieved a shotgun from his vehicle, and he shot Thomas in the chest, Millett said.
Thomas drew his weapon, but was shot a second time in his left side with the shotgun.
He took about 20 BBs from the second shot in his arm, shoulder and left side, said Millett, adding that the bullet-resistant vest worn by Thomas probably saved his life.
Thomas was taken to Valley View Medical Center, where he remained in stable condition.
He has a couple of big bruises, Millet said.
He said Thomas'wife recently gave birth to the couple's third child.
After shooting Thomas, the suspect, identified as Bryan Featherhat, 30, fled the scene after stealing the car of the man who had stopped to help him get his truck back on the road, police said. Police found the stolen 1994 Honda Passport shortly after 8:30 p.m. on a road about two miles west of Enoch in Iron County.
Featherhat was nowhere to be found, and police began searching the area as temperatures dipped below 10 degrees.
The search also included stopping and checking the occupants of vehicles in the area where the car was found.
A Department of Public Safety helicopter was called in to help the search, according to police dispatchers.
Featherhat was described as 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 260 pounds. He has black curly hair and is believed to be wearing dark pants and a black, hooded sweatshirt.
01-06-07, 09:57 AM
Glad to hear the officer is recovering. I hope the suspect is apprehended quickly and is introduced to a wall or two.
01-07-07, 01:33 AM
Injured Cedar City police officer recovering after shooting
Last Update: 1/6/2007 9:50:35 PM
CEDAR CITY, Utah (AP) - A police officer was recovering Saturday after being shot at the scene of a traffic accident.
Jason Thomas was shot twice Friday night with a shotgun after stopping to help a motorist whose pickup truck slid off a snowy road, police said.
"He's doing well. He probably received over 20 pellet holes into his body," Police Lt. Keith Millett said Saturday. "His bulletproof vest saved him from getting a lethal shot."
Thomas stopped when he saw a couple in a sport-utility vehicle trying to pull the pickup from the snow around 7 p.m. Friday. After talking with the people at the scene, he thought the driver of the pickup may have been drinking and took his driver's license.
The man then apparently went to the cab of the truck, got a 12-guage shotgun and opened fire.
"At first the officer thought he had an umbrella," Millet said. "Then suddenly he brings it up and blasts the officer in the chest from about 4 or 5 feet away."
Thomas is the first Cedar City officer shot in more than 30 years.
The family in the SUV fled after the shots were fired and the man took off in their vehicle, Millett said.
Police had his name and released his description to the public Saturday evening. Officers found the stolen SUV a few hours later, abandoned northwest of town. Around 3:30 a.m. a driver called police and reported seeing a man who matched the description walking along a remote road.
Officers responded to the call and took Bryan Featherhat, 30, into custody, Millett said. Featherhat was being held on suspicion of attempted aggravated homicide and theft of a motor vehicle, Millett said.
Investigators thought Featherhat may have been coming down from methamphetamine when the shooting occurred.